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Presbyterian missionaries are teachers, church planters, doctors, public health specialists, chaplains and human rights advocates. They teach theology, church history, Greek, Hebrew and English. They preach and evangelize. They organize and host mission teams from the United States. They accompany, they listen, they work in partnership with the Body of Christ in 71 countries. Find a mission worker now.
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A letter from Bob Rice serving in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
May 2015 - Launching Savings Groups
Mamu Ntumba sells plastic bags, tiny portions of salt, and other small items near Kananga’s central market. Her stall is a small simple table with a stick that props up a plastic bag, and her small items are spread out on the table. The total value of her stock on the table is less than $20. Yet she is exuberant as she describes how her income from this stall helps to support her and her children. After her husband died, Mamu Ntumba struggled desperately to feed and support her children. In her Presbytery of Tshibashi, they started a microfinance program with help from their sister presbytery in the U.S. Mamu Ntumba attended the training, along with about 30 women received a small loan of about $30, and was able to establish her stall at the market. She faithfully repaid the loan in small weekly installments. Unfortunately this story is not all roses—a loan program like this, however small, requires skilled oversight, strict accountability, and significant investment to be able to continue. Lacking in some of these areas, the program in Tshibashi lost steam and is currently on hold.Continue reading
A letter from Farris Goodrum serving in Brazil
August 2015 - Puppets … and a funeral
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me. I was sick and you looked after me. I was in prison and you came to visit me—Matthew 25:35-36 (NIV).
Every morning my exercise routine includes a walk along the beach, which is only a few short blocks from our apartment building. I never get tired of the beautiful and interesting scene at the beach…long stretches of sand and ocean, lined with coconut palm trees. In the lane for walkers there are always many people going in both directions, and there is also a lane for those interested in skateboarding and rollerblading, as well as a lane for bicyclists. In the distance I can see one of the two ports of Vitoria, as well as the bridge that connects Vitoria to the mainland city of Vila Velha. In the same direction a convent that has been in use for 500 years can be seen on one of the highest mountains, and is a must-see for anyone coming to Vitoria because the view from that mountaintop is spectacular.Continue reading
A letter from Cobbie Palm serving in the Philippines
August 2015 - When Mission and War Meet
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God Matthew 5:9
When mission and war meet, fear dominates the moment. Retreat offers a safe way out to churches unfamiliar with the faces of armed soldiers forcing themselves on unarmed victims. However, the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) is familiar with the face of war and, as a church, continues to stand courageously in defense of unarmed victims.
I was invited to be an accompanying presence at the UCCP Haran Mission House Compound on the war-torn southern island of Mindanao. I understood the volatile situation, but every new conflict situation sends the chill of fear through the nervous system. I was invited because I am the International Representative to the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP), the largest church-based peacemaking network in the Philippines with a mandate to promote peace talks and dialogue.
Entering the compound, I could sense a heightened level of vigilance as eyes followed my every move toward the Mission House. I was an unfamiliar presence until several from the UCCP leadership came out to meet me and escort me into the compound. The briefing I received was a reiteration of the alarming news broadcast by national networks just two days before: a violent confrontation between 682 Lumad (a term referring to indigenous peoples) and a contingent of more than 400 Philippine soldiers and police. The displaced men, women, and children were of the Talaingod Manobo indigenous people who had sought refuge at the UCCP Mission House since April 7. The soldiers and police had been dispatched in full riot and battle gear to retrieve the refugees by force and return them to their mountainous communities.Continue reading
A letter from Al Smith serving in Germany/Russia
July 31, 2015 - Summer = Camps
Dear Friends and Family,
Summertime is camp time for the Smith family. Emma and I have recently returned from four weeks in Russia, mostly devoted to various camps.
We arrived in Moscow on June 29. Emma stayed there to await the arrival of the annual team from MacPherson Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina, which is our home church. There has been a MacPherson team in Russia every year since 1998 when the partnership began, helping in the children’s camp of their partner church, Transfiguration Baptist Church of Oryol. Emma has been in this camp every year since she was 4 years old, and she was anxious to be there this year before heading off to university in mid-August.
While Emma waited in Moscow, I headed south to Kursk for the annual Roma children’s camp put on by Pastor Andrey Beskorovainiy and the congregation of the Devlesko Lav church. This camp has been one of the highlights of my summers for the past five years, but I never know quite what to expect. Last year we were challenged by repeated thunderstorms, and it seemed like I spent much of my time towing a canoe full of visitors across the swollen creek that separates the campsite from the dirt roads that lead out to the main highway. I guess that is one of the downsides of being tall. The only vehicle that could safely cross was a military-surplus all-wheel drive truck—everybody else stalled out.Continue reading
Thank You and Your Family for serving God by taking His word so far from Your Home.
God is doing his work and using us a tools in other nations.during my working here in Athens i observed that there are many oppertunities to share the Gospel massage with other those do not know Jesus and we can bring them to Jesus Christ.Please prayer for me that i'm a very littel to that God is using me here in Athens Greece. God bless you.